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Dockets

Commenting on EPA Dockets

Regulations.gov is our preferred method of receiving comments. However, other submission formats are accepted. For a complete list of all accepted types and relevant mailing addresses, visit Where to Send Comments.

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Tips for Effective Comments

A comment that expresses support or disagreement for a particular action provides general feedback to EPA. However, a comment that is constructive and provides information to support an argument is more likely to inform EPA’s decision-making process.The following tips are meant to help you prepare your comments.

  • Identify the docket ID number and other identifying information (e.g., subject heading, Federal Register date and page number) in your subject line. Comments cannot be considered if they are misdirected or get lost because the identifying information was not included. 
  • Read and understand the document you are commenting on. If you have difficulty understanding it, please reach out to the EPA contact person named in the document. Describe that difficulty in your comments, along with the clarification you received. 
  • Follow directions provided. The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions, provide particular information or organize comments in a particular way to facilitate their processing once received by EPA. If your comment is about a particular proposed regulatory provision, include the reference to the proposed part and section number for the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
  • Be concise but support your claims. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives. 
  • Base your comments on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted by the agency’s proposal. Describe any assumptions and provide the technical information and/or data that you used. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced. 
  • Address trade-offs and opposing views. 
  • The comment process is not a vote – one well-supported comment is often more informative to the agency than a thousand form letters. 
  • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified in the Federal Register document. 
  • View the rules and restrictions on comments to be sure you submit an appropriate comment.

More advice for commenters can be found at Regulations.gov's Tips for Submitting Effective Comments(3 pp, yy 353KB, About PDF).

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Rules and Restrictions

Comments submitted to the EPA, including any personal information that is in the body of the submission, will be posted to Regulations.gov and are also made available for in-person viewing at the EPA Docket Center’s Reading Room with the following exceptions:

  • In instances where individual submissions are deems to be a duplicate or near duplicate copies of a mass mail campaign, EPA may post to Regulations.gov only a representative sample along with a tally of duplicate and near duplicate copies.
  • Comments containing threatening language or profanity will be rejected without notice from the EPA. 
  • Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. 
  • EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system).
  • The inclusion of any copyrighted material without accompanying proof of one's explicit right to redistribute that material will result in the comment being blocked from online viewing at Regulations.gov.
  • Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute should never be sent to EPA electronically via Regulations.gov or e-mail.
    • If you wish to include CBI in your comment, clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a non-CBI copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information marked as CBI will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
    • If you wish to include other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute in your comment, clearly mark your submission as including that information. Information so marked will be processed by the EPA Docket Center in accordance with the applicable statute.

If you have any questions about submitting CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, please contact the EPA Docket Center at 202-566-1744, or send a message to Docket Customer Service (Docket-customerservice@epa.gov) for guidance.

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